Writing a spec TV script? Let me help.

Thursday · March 25, 2010 · 03:15 PM

Writing Don’t #208

Something huge I learned over the past couple months – don’t stress about formatting your TV script to emulate the show’s format.

I spent a fair amount of time downloading “real” scripts and trying to style things so that I could match what the staff writers created. I was worried that I wouldn’t use the right names for locations or that I’d mess up the way flashbacks or digital zooms were handled (like CSI).

It’s a complete non-issue, since the TV scripts that you write are only useful for contest entries and writing samples. And the people who are on the writing team for the show you’re spec’ing are never going to read your script. Ever.

As a rule, the people that read your script won’t be familiar with the show’s conventions. So don’t worry about what the proper name is for the “space behind the interrogation room’s one way glass” – just call it something logical so the reader can follow.